Barbara Cole Walton

Canadian-British coloratura soprano Barbara Cole Walton graduated with distinction from the Alexander Gibson Opera School (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), was listed on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30, 2016 edition, and is a musician for Live Music Now Scotland.

Her 2018/19 season included singing Norina Don Pasquale in Wexford Festival Opera’s ShortWorks, covering Ice Anthropocene (Stuart MacRae) for Scottish Opera, reprising Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail at La folle journée in Tokyo with Diva Opera, and singing Amarilli Il pastor fido (Handel) with New Chamber Opera.

Previous operatic performances include Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Diva Opera), cover Controller Flight and cover Naiad/Echo Ariadne auf Naxos (Scottish Opera), Giannetta L’elisir d’amore (New Generation Festival in Florence) Baucis in Gluck’s Philemon and Baucis and Juno The Judgement of Paris (Bampton Classical Opera) Berenice L’occasione fa il ladro, Isabella L’inganno felice, and Fanny La cambiale di matrimonio (Raucous Rossini), and Eurydice Orphée aux enfers (FAVA Opera). At the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland she sang the title role in Les mamelles de Tirésias, Lisette in La rondine, and Königin der Nacht.

In concert she has sung Handel’s Messiah and Alexander’s Feast; Bach’s St John Passion; Haydn’s Stabat Mater; Mozart’s Requiem, Mass in C minor, Regina Coeli in C, and Coronation Mass in C major; Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio; Finzi’s In terra pax; Schubert’s Mass in G major; and Pergolesi’s Salve regina in F minor.

Engagements in contemporary works include singing the title role in a Scottish Opera workshop of Delia (Tom Cunningham), as well as, the soprano roles in Rough for Opera’s workshop of The Doll Behind the Curtain (Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour). She has performed with the Helios Collective in their Formations 2016, singing King Olaf in the opera For the Love of Thorstein Shiver (Alex Paxton) in London, and with ensemble KONTRASTE, singing My Illness is the Medicine I Need (Thomas Larcher) at the Nürnberg Tafelhalle, Germany. She performed the Canadian premiere of In the Dark (Tafreshipour), sung in Persian, for soprano and 6 clarinets.

Her studies have been supported by the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund, the Hon. Isabel Catto OBE Memorial Scholarship, the Trades House Scholarship, the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, the Anne Clutterbuck Award, the Arnold and Anna Maran Scholarship, the Saltire Scotland Scholarship, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Trust.

She holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Victoria, Canada, where she held the Bea Scott Scholarship in Voice and a British Columbia Arts Council Junior Scholarship.

In July 2021 she sang the role of Linnet in John Barber’s The Selfish Giant for Garsington Festival Opera.


The Selfish Giant/Garsington Opera Festival

“…Barbara Cole Walton’s glinting Linnet soars beautifully..” The Times, July 2021

“The Linnet (Barbara Cole Walton, soaring in a sky-scraping vocal range)…” The Stage, July 2021

“…the professionals drafted in – baritone Matthew Stiff as the Giant, and coloratura soprano Barbara Cole Walton as the Linnet, plus players from the Philharmonia Orchestra – brilliantly anchored the show.” Michael Church, July 2021

Opera Repertoire

Arne The Judgement of Paris Juno
Barber, John The Selfish Giant Linnet
Britten A Midsummer Night's Dream Tytania
Britten Paul Bunyan Fido
Britten The Rape of Lucretia Lucia
Donizetti L'elisir d'amore Gianetta
Dove Flight Controller
Gluck Philemon and Baucis Baucis
Handel Alcina Morgana
Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel Dew Fairy
MacRae Anthropocene Ice
Monteverdi Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria Amore
Mozart Die Entfürung aus dem Serail Blonde
Mozart Der Schauspieldirektor Madame Herz
Mozart Die Zauberflöte Queen of the Night
Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann Olympia
Poulenc Les mamelles de Tirésias Thérèse
Puccini La Rondine Lisette
Rossini La cambiale di matrimonio Fanny
Rossini L'inganno felice Isabella
Rossini L'occasione fa il ladro Berenice
Strauss, Richard Arabella Fiakermilli
Strauss, Richard Ariadne auf Naxos Zerbinetta/Naiad